When filing for Social Security disability insurance, most people don’t realize that almost three-quarters of cases get denied the first time they are submitted.
More than 2 million applications are submitted to the Social Security Administration (SSA) each year and 31% are given a technical denial. You can be given a technical denial for several reasons, including missing medical records, lack of information and not having earned enough Social Security credits to be eligible for benefits. 

The remaining applications that aren’t denied to the application stage. These applications go through a five-step evaluation method:

  1. Does the applicant work?

  2. How severe is the applicant’s medical condition?

  3. Does the illness or injury meet the SSA criteria?

  4. Can the applicant do the type of work they previously did?

  5. Could the applicant do another type of work?


After this evaluation step, some applicants are awarded disability benefits and the remaining cases are denied. Over all, between the technical denial and this denial, 73% of first-time applicants are denied.

Appeals Process

Only about 48% of those denied go on to the appeals process. This is a three- or four-level process, depending on whether you live in Kansas or Missouri.

In Kansas, the first appeal is called “reconsideration.” (Missouri has eliminated this step.) The reconsideration can be requested within 60 days of the date of the denial. 

The second appeal is a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). This hearing may be requested within 60 days of the denial of the reconsideration.

The third appeal is a review by the Appeals Council of the ALJ’s decision. The council may reverse the judge’s decision and grant approval, order a second hearing be held, or issue another denial. 

The final appeal is a suit filed in federal district court, if the Appeals Council has denied your claim.

As you can see, if you have been denied SSDI benefits, you only have 60 days to start the appeals process. You need an experienced attorney on your side to help you with the appeal. 

Call us today at 816-842-7100 to speak with an attorney. Or you can click here to email us and schedule your free consultation. 

Jason C. Amerine
Connect with me
President and Owner, Castle Law Office of Kansas City